Fact Sheet on life'sDHA

Docosahexaenoic acid, DHA, is a long chain omega-3 fatty acid that is found throughout the body. More specifically, it is a major structural fat in the brain and the retina of the eye and is a key component of the heart. A growing body of research continues to support the important role that DHA plays for both mother and baby.

• DHA is the most abundant fatty acid in the brain and eyes (retina). DHA represents about 97% and 93% of all omega-3 fatty acids in the brain and eyes, respectively.1-2

• Breast milk is the optimal method for infant feeding. DHA is always present in human breast milk. 5

• The developing infant receives DHA from the mother through the placenta during pregnancy and in breast milk after birth.5-7

• Expert panels recommend that DHA intake be 200-300mg per day for pregnant and nursing women.8-9

• On average, pregnant and nursing women in North America consume 60-80mg of DHA a day, only 20-40% of the recommended intake.10-11

• Breast milk DHA levels are dependent on the mother’s diet.12-24 Because of a low DHA dietary intake, American women reportedly have lower DHA levels in their breast milk than their international counterparts.5

• Maternal DHA supplementation was shown to increase the mother’s blood and breast milk DHA levels. This, in turn, elevated the blood DHA levels of both the fetus and breast-feeding infant. 12-13, 24-30

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